Scientists have hinted that the Amazon Basin is approaching an ecological tipping point. Recognizing the importance of the region to global ecosystems, it is crucial to take a decisive action – such as a development model to address these ecological and financial challenges. For this purpose, a program called Amazonia Forever aims to promote sustainable and resilient development in the Amazon region, taking into account the existing problems and finding comprehensive solutions for them.
The initiative was announced last week by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) following a meeting in São Paulo involving the IDB governors from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname, which are among the nine countries that house the Amazon rainforest, along with Venezuela and French Guiana.
Since its inception in 1959, IDB has been actively involved in the Amazon region, investing in sustainable development, agriculture, education, urban development, social inclusion, and fiscal management, among other areas. The Bank currently maintains a dedicated technical team in each Amazon country and has an Amazon Coordination Unit within its Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector, responsible for coordinating the activities of Amazonia Forever.
According to the IDB, Amazonia Forever is a comprehensive program that seeks to increase funding, foster knowledge sharing, and improve coordination for the sustainable development of the Amazon. The program will have three main components:
- A platform to identify financial resources for the Amazon rainforest and its countries.
- Establishment of a project-preparation facility to develop investment plans for Amazon territories.
- Creation of a network of finance and planning ministers, along with a technical group, to oversee the program’s activities with support from the IDB.
IDB has already identified a total of USD 1 billion in projects earmarked for the Amazon region in this year across various financing channels. The launch of Amazonia Forever aims to enhance existing resources and explore additional funding opportunities for the region’s development.
The program’s main areas of focus are the bioeconomy, the well-being of local communities, and the promotion of sustainable agriculture and forestry. A key aspect of this approach is to ensure the inclusion and participation of women, indigenous peoples, and Afro descendants.
The President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ilan Goldfajn, emphasized the importance of considering all aspects of the Amazon region, with a central focus on both people and nature. The IDB serves as a crucial platform for donors and partners to coordinate their efforts and initiatives for the region. Strengthening collaboration and ambition is essential to maximize the impact of these collective endeavors.
Amazonia Forever is a platform designed to allocate and consolidate financial resources dedicated to the Amazon region from various sources, including countries within the Amazon basin and other donors. This platform serves as a valuable tool to facilitate new financing opportunities and guide policy and investment decisions. Additionally, Amazonia Forever aims to establish a Project-preparation Facility, which will focus on developing investment plans for Amazon territories and significantly expanding the IDB’s existing project pipeline.
The initiative also seeks to enable and support initiatives led by other institutions, networks, and alliances that can benefit from the IDB’s financial instruments, knowledge, and regional mandate. To ensure progress and results in economic and financial matters, a Network of Ministers of Financing and Planning and a technical group have been established. These entities, with the support of the IDB, will oversee the advancements of Amazonia Forever, including scaling up financing, developing joint taxonomies, and implementing innovative financing instruments, aligning with the resolutions of the Amazon countries.
Brazil’s Planning Minister, Simone Tebet, signed the declaration on behalf of Brazil as the country’s representative to the IDB. Diogo Ramos Coelho, an advisor on foreign affairs, highlighted the meeting of the Amazon countries’ IDB governors within the context of the Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva administration’s commitment to the climate agenda and regional cooperation to address these challenges.
Amazonia Forever aims to promote sustainable and resilient development in the Amazon region. In August, Brazil will host a regional summit on this issue, bringing together all the countries that are home to the rainforest (excluding French Guiana). The summit aims to facilitate discussions on a collaborative approach to combat deforestation, attract investments, safeguard local and indigenous communities, and promote sustainable development.
Source: IDB News Release